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Maintenance, Mods, & Tips Mods | Tips | Repairs & Troubleshooting

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Unread 02-03-2020, 07:21 PM   #2381
Rich Z
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So my elbow is feeling better, and I figured I would put the C5Z up on the lift so I can check to see if the exhaust pipes are leaking where the headers connect up with the X-pipe. The reason for this is that if I didn't have any leaks at those joints, then I wouldn't have to pull off that X-pipe. The exhaust pipe arrangement is front to back: headers, X-pipe, catalytic converters (straight pipes right now), extension pipes to the cat backs, cat back pipes, rear mounted turbos, then exhaust pipes coming out of the turbos. The extension pipes to the cat back pipes just have to have the bolts removed and then swung out of the way so that I could remove the straight pipes and the extension pipes. Put in the catalytic converters replacing those straight pipes, and button it all back together. Shouldn't take long to do.

So I started up the car and lifted up. Then squirted the joints with soapy water and look for bubbles. Damn. Leaking like crazy. Looks like the tech didn't push the pipes together enough, because there are slots cut into one of each pipe end that slides over the mate in the slip joints. They look like this:



The slots are there so that the clamp can make a better seal with the clamping force applied by the clamp.

So what happens is if the inside pipe isn't shoved in far enough to go beyond the cut slots, exhaust escapes, goes right underneath the clamp holding the joint together, and there you have an exhaust leak. So if one is leaking at a joint, then ALL of them on that joint are leaking. So yeah, I suppose that the exhaust smell I have been smelling while driving the car is coming from those exhaust leaks right underneath the floor boards of the passenger cabin. And for a turbo powered car, so is a lot of the boost being generated just being pissed away through those leaks.

Great.... Probably a good chance the other joints downstream are leaking too, but I didn't bother checking them since I have to take that all apart anyway. I guess the tech just didn't check for exhaust leaks.

Honestly, if something else comes up with this car that I can't fix myself, I will just sell it. As parts, if necessary. NO ONE appears to be worth a crap for fixing these things. At least in my experience.
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Unread 02-25-2020, 03:40 PM   #2382
Rich Z
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Finally decided to tackle putting those catalytic converters in today. Damn I hate those slip joints on the exhaust pipes. I've been fighting with one section for a good hour now. Has to come off, because it's one of the straight pipes where a cat goes. Then the X-pipe comes off and then I can clean up the pipe ends and start putting it all back together again. Then hopefully when I check, I won't have any exhaust leaks.

Had I known the car was going to be in that last shop for so long, and the engine pulled out anyway, I would have gotten a new set of headers all the way back to the catbacks that used a different connection system between the pipe segments. The slip joints have never given me anything but headaches.

Anyway, got Break-Free sprayed on that one pipe connection and just letting it set for a while to hopefully help loosen it up. I hate to have to cut it off, since I never know if I might want to use it again. And I would have to be REAL careful I didn't damage the X-pipe in the process.
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Unread 03-08-2020, 08:26 PM   #2383
Rich Z
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Finally got everything all put together and I hope all of the exhaust leaks plugged. I still had a small one earlier today, but I really cranked down on the clamp and it seemed to fix it. I was surprised to see that neither one of the cat back flanges were leaking at all, so perhaps my straightening out just the engine side flanges was enough to help seal them up properly. Plus I was pretty liberal with the high temperature sealant at every joint. I really don't like having to do something AGAIN.

I don't really notice the smell of the exhaust being any better in the garage, but perhaps at idle the catalytic converters just don't get hot enough to do their job very well. Plus these are "high flow" cats, so I guess they aren't as effective as the factory made units anyway.

Maybe I need to break out the EFILive stuff again and see if I can lean out the cells in the AFR table for the idle range of RPM. Heck, I'm going to have to relearn all that stuff, since it's been too long since I last touched it to remember much about it. The old brain just don't hang onto stuff as well as it used to.

Planning on taking the car out for a test drive over the next day or three to see if any of the exhaust pipes fall off on me. At least the weather appears that it is going to be clear sailing and sunny for the next week and a half. Subject to change without notice, of course.
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